If you THINK your CHILD has TALENT is it your DUTY to PROMOTE or ENCOURAGE THEM?

United States
March 6, 2007 3:39pm CST
Suppose you have a child that is talented either in singing, or acting or some other special talent, is it your responsibility as a parent to encourage them or promote this talent? Or do you let them live their life as a child and when they are older and can do it yourself do they express the interest? Are we being bad parents if we don't promote them, perhaps the field that they are talented in is one that we can't afford or know nothing about, then what do you do?? (Everyone is rated and always a best response marked) :-)
19 people like this
56 responses
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I don't think it is a DUTY but if the child is interested in developing the talent they can be helped and encouraged. Too many times, parents will see a little talent and then start pushing the child in a direction that is totally contrary to the child s desires. Parents need to back off and watch to see what the child is actually drawn to. They need to actually LISTEN to what the child's desires are, to a certain extent. Using Duty as an excuse to force the child to pursue something they hate is just insensitive, self serving, manipulation.
4 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
I use duty as a parental obligation, but thank you for responding
• Australia
7 Mar 07
I agree with sagemother about PUSHING but there is a very big difference between pushing and encouraging a definite talent or ability. There is also the consideration of the child's desire. Is it for the child, because the child wants it - or for the glory of the parent.
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
6 Mar 07
my daughter with her very first award in martial a - Both my husband and I think trying to bring talennt out of our children is one of the major roles of life. Here is our eldest with her first award in martial arts, she was six years old and we are very proud
blessed be
I firmly believe that as a parent one of my primary roles is to encourage and nurture the talents within our children. It is more than a duty but a sacred obligation. blessed be
3 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Such a GREAT response, I firmly believe it is a duty but a welcome responsibility (one that we enjoy) is more like it, thank you for responding
1 person likes this
@ESKARENA1 (18299)
6 Mar 07
Certainly it is a duty and an obligation that we voluntarily enter into and greatly enjoy, blessed be
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Yes, children are definitely a blessing, one that should be cherished, thanks for sharing
@pondadog (101)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Well...lets look a very flamboyant "talent" that was pushed and prodded by her parents...I really mean Mother..from a very young age...was told by everyone around her how great she was..how pretty she was..How this..how that...pretty soon little Miss Prissypants doesn't know anything else except how much better she is than everyone else...She sings ..makes a few records...every little teenage girl in the world wants to be like her..look like her...everything..!!!Fast forward a few years..the cutesypie look has weathered and now Little Miss is stating to look like she has been rode hard and put away wet...The extra pounds she has gained don't help either...I still think Mother is in the background with her advice, because this girl has never...NEVER ...had to make a decision on her own about anything...her youth is gone..she was never allowed to be little girl....Now... a couple of jump-started marriages..all bad to the wrong guys for the wrong reasons and some more than likely,unwanted kids to drag along have become part of the baggage....MOM...Are you reading any of this....??? Any second year pschy student knows where to point the ugly finger of blame...On the parents..most likely the Mother in all cases who wanted their little darling to be the hit of the town and all for selfish self-motivated reasons...bragging rights ladies and gentlemen...OH...and lets not forget the almighty $$$ that can enliven the family till at the expense of your daughter's youth... Pretty soon there is no where left for the little miss to go..oh there is always the pschy hospitals with the revolving doors and the huge bills....your fans have given you up..your antics would make Caligula blush with shame...you are not a role model for anyone..and you don't have a clue as to why the voices in your head are making you do the things you do..but louder and louder they scream into the night and all through your waking hours, untill finally some peace has to be gained in the only way you know how.................. So mothers of charming little kids..think about this the next time you think about putting your Little Miss into a contest for 6-8 year olds or whatever...LET THE CHILDREN BE CHILDREN!! Life is hard enough..there is no rush to get there ahead of your time... Any resemblance to current problematic young stars is of course intended......
2 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Kind of a bold statement there Joe, especially since ye has no children to speak of .. thanks for responding my friend
@pondadog (101)
• United States
7 Mar 07
May be a bold statementand no..No presents for me on Father's Day.....BUT...BUT...I have eyes..ears and a very sharp mind and can see what is happening with children being pushed like this..and yes..for the most part they are being pushed...Does anyone really think that little Jon Benet wanted to get all mars up like that and be paraded around like a 2 dollar floozy on Saturday night...I'll bet she was never given the choice....another child gone.....................
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 07
Well I think Jon Bonet was an extreme product of a parent pushing a child into something they wanted, poor thing, thanks for contributing
@Myrrdin (3601)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
Well that is a tricky question. On one hand encouraging and promoting a child's talent is a worthy task. That being said if a child doesn't enjoy doing it then what is the point of pushing them. I think it is a fine line. You want your kids to have a childhood, but you also want them to be successful. Raising a child is always a balancing act between their happiness and their future/present needs. If a child finds something they are talented at and enjoy they should be encouraged but not pushed to the detriment of their childhood.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Great response, you must have children to voice such an opinion. I believe fully that we should encourage and promote to the point of enjoyment, other than that it is purely abusive of the parents that force children to do things that they do not enjoy. Thank you for contributing~!
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
I totally agree with Myrrdin. It has to be balanced. However, there are certain talents that can be developed if the child is truly interested in it. I am speaking for myself, because when I was 7 I remember announcing to my family that I would become a singer inspite of the fact that I have no singing talent at all but just because I LOVE singing. This I said even after being rejected from a school choir audition. My love for singing made me a professional singer even though I grew up being ridiculed by many even by my siblings. I wasn't pushed by anyone, I just developed the talent because of my interest in it. Now, my 16 yr old daughter surprisingly has a great voice and singing talent. When she was very young, with my family's encouragement she joined and won several competitions but apparently she is not keenly interested in pursuing it. So I stepped back and allowed her time to find what she really wants to do. Yes, she does enjoys singing but only to a certain extent. She is happier doing sport more than singing. Bottomline, it's the pursuit of one's happiness that matters.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 07
It is not a parent's duty, but if a child shows a lot of interest in a specific talent, you should support them. Some parents go too far and push them too hard and take a lot of fun out of their talent. My parents have always supported me when I've showed an interest in something, but they have never pressured me to continue something if my interest started to lose interest. I believe my parents supported me in the best way possible. They kept it light and fun, and I never felt any pressure to do something tha wasn't what I really wanted.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 07
Erm, I mean if I started to lose interest in the activity. .
2 people like this
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Well, if a kid can sing really well, but hates performing, then I certainly wouldn't try to push them into performing just because they have a good voice. Same with any other talent. If they are really good at baseball, but they just don't enjoy it, there's no sense in doing it. I think if they show interest in the talent/activity, then by all means, find ways for them to do it.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Mar 07
But if a child has talent wouldn't you push to give them speech lesson in order for their shyness to diminish? I would hope so, thanks for contributing
1 person likes this
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
I believe that it is one way of supporting what the child is interested in if parents encourage their children to do better in the talent that they have. As a daughter of my parents, they are ever supportive on my talents. When there are times that I feel down especially if I lose in a game where talents are shown, they always encourage me that there's still more to that and I should never give up. I tell you it's such a wonderful feeling that you are able to express something on your own and not being hindered to. Sometimes, parents would tend to scold you or remind you if you focus a lot on your talent other than improtant priorities in life. Say for instance, you are asked by your mother to help her in doing the household chores, and you don't want to because you keep on practicing singing and dancing. It's not anymore good because in one's life, everything has a limit and you are still faced on a lot of different roles and responsibilities too.
• United States
6 Mar 07
Thank you for contributing
@linda345 (2661)
• Canada
8 Mar 07
They were talking about this on Dr. Phil the other day but I didn't catch all of it. I think you should encourage them for sure but as for it being your duty to promote them there are several factors. If you start promoting this child is she/he going to have any sence of a normal childhood. What about other kids in the family? Are they neglected? Can you afford to promote this child with comprising the household finaces? All these questions would have to be answered first I think.
2 people like this
@strapro (26)
• Greece
7 Mar 07
I believe that the parents should let their children have a normal childhood. I believe that by trying to promote your children you put a lot of unecessary stress on them, something which could hurt them psychologically. Children should live a free-minded, playfull childhood in order to become mature and well-balanced adults.
2 people like this
• India
7 Mar 07
i think its best to promote their talent at an early stage....later their interest may fade out....hey its ok if u know nothing about it....you can always get in touch with other people who do know....
2 people like this
• India
7 Mar 07
i think it is our duty to encourge n support our child to use their talent in right direction
2 people like this
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
Of course, it is the parent's obligation to encourage the child to improve and harness his talents. The reason why parents are called guardians is because, we are supposedly there for our kids always, guiding them, watching over them, helping them find out where and what fields are they good at. Thus, we are influencing their lives from the moment they were born. It will be good to bear in mind that, children need encouragement always to boost their ego and self-confidence which all children do not have. Otherwise, their talents shall go to waste and we will have growing children who are depressed for not having pursued the field where they could be most happy. Some of them will become bitter and feel rejected and unloved. They will think that their parents never minded their talents because, they were unloved ones, in the first place. We are not to push them too hard, though. Other parents push their children really hard to develop their talents fast for purposes of earning money. This is cruelty to the kids. It's best to allow to take their own pace of development under our guidance and subtle prodding.
@dyupe_moe (225)
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
Even if I'm not a parent yet, I have somewhat experienced this with my brothers, who are 8 and 11 years apart from my age. It is always good to encourage them, but, encourage them on what they want to do, not on what we (or parents for this matter), want them to excel in. My two brothers had a knack for oregami (the art of paper folding) when they were a bit younger. My mom encouraged them to continue this since they could come up with a work of art some day. But it's not the case because time changes. At the same time, I was encouraging my brothers to learn to play the guitar so that they had a different pastime, yet I never pushed them to do it. I let them do it on their own time and they are now better than I am! I encouraged them not because its my duty as a big brother, but because I want them to enjoy at what they're doing good at. Now, I further encourage them to play this type of music and do that kind of music; and they're really good at it. They now join band competitions and song writing events. Even if they didn't bag any honors yet, I know they're happy with what they're doing and we're supporting them all the way. In summary, it's not actually an obligation to encourage or promote their talent. Don't lash your kids on what talent you want them exposed to. Let them do what they want, then encourage and suppport them. After that, just sit back and watch the talent grow.
2 people like this
@CatEyes (2449)
• United States
9 Mar 07
Well as parents it is our job and privalege to do so. With in reason of course. I know growing up my parents knew I had many talents one being music. They so wished they could have given me lessons when I was younge, but alas they were poor. I ended up getting a flute and flute lessons for my 16th bday from my Gpa. He paid for the lessons for a year. I had never picked up a flute, but my teacher said that after just 4 monnths I had the talent to go prof. I can practicaly pick up any instrument and play it with out any one showing me. I love music. i had offers from schools and so forth, but unfortunatly my parents did not want me to go. Wish I had, I could have been in the symphonies! I still play and taught for a while. I know that if my son show intrest I will help him, but not push him.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 07
You are sooo right about it being our job, thank you for responding
@wmg2006 (5383)
• United States
7 Mar 07
My son is very talented and i had no idea until I put him in a private school. He wanted to join band but couldn't because he had not had any band prior to this year. So he joined chorus and could really sing. Then he joined a drama team. Well I paid the dues for both and bought whatever he needed to perform. But I never saw him until they did a play at their school and he dedicated a song to me. I had no idea he was going to be singing and I actually did not even invite anyone to the play, because i figured it was just a school play only a parent would enjoy. Boy was I ever wrong! He got a standing ovation, the paper was there and some college aagents. They wanted to sign him right there to 3 prestigeous colleges for drama. It was a whirlwind like a star was born over night. The draw back was he was only a freshman, but he looked like a senior. He was 6'3" at that time. I promoted this talent all through high school and sooooo glad I did! He is now in Germany and starts next week as a model and commercial extra in the Netherlands. I could never be as proud of him as I am now. He always said he really didn't like it so much, but now he says it is his calling. It is what he is good at and it is what he will do for a career. It was worth all the fights and the borrowing of money to see him do what he is good at.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
7 Mar 07
Congratulations. You sound like a very happy and proud successful mother.
1 person likes this
@ironstruck (2299)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
You bet you should encourage them. Some parents try and shape their children into what they think they should become. Say for instance, 3 generations of the family have been doctors and the child is expected to follow in the footsteps of Grandpa and dear old dad? However, it is apparent at an early age that the child has a gift for music. Not only a gift, but the child loves it. It is such a sin if the child if pushed into university and medical school when his heart is not leaning in that direction. When what he really wants it so express himself and give pleasure to others through his music.
• United States
6 Mar 07
Thanks for your contribution
• India
6 Mar 07
Respected Sir, It is ou duty to encourage them.Beacause if they open their tallents they will reach what we dreams are.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
Excellent response, thanks for contributing
@marciascott (25553)
• United States
6 Mar 07
My Grandson I think he has talent, I think he can play a gutair. I would like him to take some lessons. he doen't know how to play but He seems to have an ear for it. listening to him, it sounds like a tune. maybe I should let him take Gutsir lessons, you think?
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 07
I think you should encourage your grandson to take guitar lessons, the worst thing that could happen is that he learned how to play guitar, the best thing that could happen would be that he makes something of his talent. Thanks for responding
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I think as a parent we should encourage our children in whatever they are interested in. We can't always be the best ones to judge talent in our child, what we see as talent might be our wish to see it. So I would say go by what your child is interested in. Promote that and encourage them to follow their dreams. That's the best thing we can do as parents.
• United States
6 Mar 07
A great parent you must be, thank you for responding
@sunnypub (2130)
• United States
6 Mar 07
there is a difference between encourage and promote. I think it is our job as parents to encourage our children to do anything and everything even if they aren't good at it, but they enjoy it. that is the key, encourage if it is something the child enjoys. I do not think it is our duty to make our children grow up to fast by promoting their talents. If the child really is talented there will be time later in life for promotion. Unless of course the child wants the promotion. IF the child wants to go pro so to speak then by all means encourage it, but once they become unhappy or it interferes with their chooling or them just being a kid, then it is time to stop.
• United States
6 Mar 07
I believe promote refers to monetary matters of the interest of the child (just my personal perception) but I fully agree with you that we should always encourage our children. Thank you for responding